There has been extensive media coverage of oil tycoon Harold Hamm and his now ex-wife and their divorce proceedings. This includes the publicized details of their personal and business finances. Harold Hamm is the owner and CEO of his oil-based company, Continental Resources, Inc. The original divorce decree stated that Hamm owed his ex-wife a significant portion of alimony after 25 years of marriage.
The details of the divorce proceedings can be seen in our previous blog. In short, many were focused on what would become of Hamm’s reported billionaire status after his business owner divorce. The Hamm’s signed no prenuptial agreement. This would entitle the former Mrs. Hamm to half of the marital property.
This was not the arrangement as decided per the family law judge. Both parties appealed the decision. Mr. Hamm is now claiming that the alimony amount he owes to his ex-wife should be reduced due to a recent drop in the business's stock price, among other factors affecting his net worth. His ex-wife’s representation claims this should have no merit since this drop occurred after the judgment was made.
These two will likely continue to play out their disagreement in a family law court. Hopefully, they come to a mutually beneficial decision soon. Meanwhile, their story will continue to play out across the nation. The results may stand as a precedent for other business owners who are mitigating a divorce.
Most couples facing alimony issues will not be dealing with it on as large of a scale as Hamm and his ex-wife. However, couples going through the divorce process may find it beneficial to speak with a divorce lawyer to explore all available options.
Source: thestar.com, “Divorced oil billionaire argues plunging prices mean alimony discount,” Jan. 13, 2015